|Publication number||US7661555 B1|
|Application number||US 10/734,587|
|Publication date||Feb 16, 2010|
|Filing date||Dec 15, 2003|
|Priority date||Dec 13, 2002|
|Publication number||10734587, 734587, US 7661555 B1, US 7661555B1, US-B1-7661555, US7661555 B1, US7661555B1|
|Inventors||Christopher T. Evans, Christopher Gieda|
|Original Assignee||Union Street Brand Packaging|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (24), Referenced by (10), Classifications (18), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/433,006, filed Dec. 13, 2002.
Containers for holding thin films and strips and other similar products are known in the art. However, there is a lack of effective methods for dispensing individual thin films and strips from storage containers. Current containers require a consumer to reach a finger into the container and attempt to extract a single thin film for use. Often, the consumer will extract multiple strips, requiring the consumer to replace the excess films. The films are not easy to handle and often become wrinkled, bunched up or otherwise misshapen and damaged. Additionally, because the consumer may need to touch the extra films, there is a risk of contamination.
Needs exist for improved containers and automatic methods of dispensing single strips of thin film products that are easy to use and eliminate contamination concerns.
The present invention is a thin film-dispensing container that ejects one thin film or strip at a time. The automatic, easy and reliable dispensing of one thin film at a time is advantageous when compared to previous containers due to ease of use. When only one strip is dispensed at a time there is less frustration at having to replace unused strips that were inadvertently dispensed. Further, because excess strips do not have to be handled, there is a reduced risk of contamination caused by touching the strips.
The thin film-dispensing container holds a stack of individual thin film strips. The strips are dispensed by lid opening mechanisms.
In one embodiment, the lid is raised or a lever is moved and an extension or a pad extending into the container is rotated downward to contact the top strip. The pad is coated with TPE, rubber or silicone to create friction with the top strip. As the lid is raised or moved further, the pad continues to swing toward the front opening and moves the top strip with it. When the lid is completely opened, the top strip is far enough out of the container to allow the user to grasp and remove it. The pad is returned to the start position when the user closes the lid.
In another embodiment, a lever mechanism is used. The user pulls back on the top of the container. A pad is connected to a living hinge within the container. The lever mechanism and the attached pad are forced downward and forward. As the lid is pulled further back, the pad moves the top strip toward the opening that is created by moving the lid backwards. When the top is pulled completely back, the strip is ready to be removed by the user. The top and lever return to the initial position when pressure removed by the user.
Another embodiment of the thin film-dispensing container involves a gear mechanism. Again, the user slides or pulls back on a part of the top cover of the container to operate a rack. The gear starts at the back of the rack region. A TPE, rubber or silicone tipped pad extension is attached to the gear in a fixed position. It begins in a horizontal position at the top of the container. As the gear is rotated forward, by the user sliding or pulling the top cover backward, the pad is rotated downward towards the thin films. The pad contacts the top film and moves it forward as the gear is rotated. When the top has been slid or pulled completely back, the strip is forced out of the opening created by moving the top backward. The user removes the strip. The container is prepared to dispense another strip by pushing the top of the container forward into the initial closed position.
A preferred strip dispenser has a container for holding a stack of strips. A lever is connected to the container and an extension is connected to the lever and extends into the container, A tip of the extension has a friction surface for engaging the top strip within the container. Lifting the lever moves the extension tip in the container and slides the extension tip outward from the container.
Preferably the lever is pivoted on a hinge connected to the container. The extension extends in a direction from the hinge opposite a direction of the lever. In one embodiment, the friction surface is one a side of the extension opposite from a top of the lever.
A dispensing opens and closes opening at one end of the container. A cover connected to the lever moves with the lever, closes the opening when the lever is aligned with the container, and uncovers the opening when an end of the lever is moved away from the container. Preferably the lever is a lid on an upper surface of the container for opening at least a part of the upper surface of the container. The preferred extension is flexible and has a relatively slippery surface on a side opposite the friction surface for sliding over a next adjacent strip on a return stroke.
The container holds a stack of aligned strips. A top strip in the stack slides along a next adjacent strip outward through the opening when the lever is moved. Preferably the dispensing opening extends substantially over an entire end of the container.
The lever is a lid hinged at one end to a central portion of a top of the container and extends outward to the opening in the end of the container for opening and exposing at least a portion of the stack of strips in the container.
In one form, a link is connected to the lever and to the extension. A slide is connected to a link and to the container for sliding on the container and uncovering an opening, and for moving the link, the lever and the extension, and moving the friction surface on the tip of the extension and one strip in the direction of the opening.
Living hinges interconnect the slide, the links and the lever. The lever is pivoted on an end of the container base at an end of the lever remote from the links, and at an end of the container base remote from the opening.
In one embodiment, a gear connected to the lever turns the lever and the extension as the gear is turned for moving the top strip. A slide connected to the container slides in a first direction to expose a dispensing opening. A rack on an inside of the slide turns the gear and moves the strip when sliding in the first direction. Sliding the top in a second direction closes the dispensing opening and turns the gear, the lever and the extension for sliding over a next adjacent strip.
A preferred method of dispensing a strip comprises an end of providing a container and a dispensing opening in the container, placing strips in the container, and engaging the top strip with friction surface on a tip of an extension extending into the container. Moving a lever connected to the container opens the dispensing opening, moves the extension and the tip in the direction of the opening, and moves the top strip and exposes it through the opening. Moving the lever and the extension in an opposite direction slides the side of the lip opposite the friction surface rearward over the next strip and closes the dispensing opening.
Initiating the moving of a lever moves the tip of the extension inward in the container and toward the at least one strip. Completing the moving of the lever and extension in the opposite direction moves the tip of the extension away from a next adjacent at least one strip. Moving the lever opens and closes the dispensing opening.
Sliding a slide opens and closes the dispensing opening and moves the lever and the extension with the slide.
In one method, the lever and the extension are connected to a gear which rotates in a cover of the container. Sliding the slide moves a rack across the gear and turns the gear for moving the lever and the extension.
The strips may be stacked or connected strips of any thickness, and the container may be of any size to accommodate the strips. The strips may be connected by weakened or perforated areas, or the cover may include a cutter to puncture, perforate or sever the strips. The strips may be in one continuous form as end-to-end connected strips. In the latter case, the strips may be dispensed in predetermined lengths or may be pulled outward to desired lengths before separation.
These and further and other objects and features of the invention are apparent in the disclosure, which includes the above and ongoing written specification, with the claims and the drawings.
Packaging for thin film strips uses a lid-activated mechanism to dispense one strip at a time.
In one embodiment, as shown in
The use of the thin film dispensing container 1 is shown in
In a preferred form as shown, the lid 3 has a generally truncated triangular shape with a living hinge 32 at one end joining the lid to the cover 2. The lid has a lip 33 which extends beyond a closure 34 that snaps over the end dispensing opening 4 in the end of the container 1. The tapered body 36 of the lid covers the opening 6 in the top of the container. The bottom 8 of the container curves upward near the dispensing opening to direct the top strip 7 and subsequent strips in stack 71 through the opening. The pad extension 5 flexes so that its tip slides over the next adjacent strip in stack 71 on its return and engages the uppermost strip 7 when the lip moves toward the opening 4.
A second embodiment, shown in
As shown in
Operations and advantages of the three embodiments:
Packaging for thin film strips with lid-activated mechanism:
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|U.S. Classification||221/259, 221/246, 221/210, 206/38, 221/33, 221/269, 221/65, 221/232, 221/37, 206/39.4|
|International Classification||B65H3/02, B65H3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B65H2403/941, B65D83/087, B65H3/02, B65H2402/41|
|European Classification||B65H3/02, B65D83/08D1B1|
|Mar 25, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: UNION STREET BRAND PACKAGING,NEW JERSEY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:EVANS, CHRISTOPHER T.;GIEDA, CHRISTOPHER;REEL/FRAME:015133/0526
Effective date: 20040130
|Mar 26, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4